Madam Speaker, I thought this matter was really a non-political matter because we all know that in this country, our tariffs, particularly in the energy sector are below economic rates. We are way below the levels that would enable our utilities make full cost recovery. This is not something that is debatable on this floor because we agree, they agree.
Madam Speaker, we have been talking about a policy to bring independent power producers to this country to help us add on to our generation capacity in the country. Unless we move to find cost recovery, we cannot do that. We are not debating that, we accept that. The question is how we get to that level.
Madam Speaker, there is another issue that was raised by some of my Hon Colleagues on the other side of the House, the Hon Minister for Road and Highways, the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development -- they mentioned the lack of quality service delivery by some utility companies.
I think we also agreed on this side of the House that indeed, service delivery is poor and we need to deal with it appropriately to improve it. If we are going to pay any high tariffs, then we should improve the service delivery in this country. We do not argue over that.
Madam Speaker, consumer behaviour, particularly in the area of energy used in this country is not the best. We are not energy efficient. We all abuse the energy that is generated for us at a very high cost. This is something we need to deal with and indeed, in the past seven years, we have tried to improve this through various campaigns.
So as we speak today, there is a responsibility on the part of the consumers on helping for us to improve, not only
service delivery but also to ensure that we have got adequate power generation capacity for us and that the service delivery would be better.
Madam Speaker, I think the thing that we are all most concerned about is the rate of increase that we are experiencing. It is true that at the Energy Committee, we agreed that we needed to increase tariffs, we did not argue about that; the issue that we raised was that the rate of increase was something that we should look at seriously and that we should take them alongside other things such as service delivery.
The operations of the utility companies, the amount of the investment that is going into these companies, are we getting commensurate services from them, at the level that we desire? These are all the things that we talked about at the committee level.
Madam Speaker, my major concerns came out of the levels of resources that have gone into utility companies in this country over the past seven years. From my estimation, from being in the Ministry of Energy and also being in this House, I can put the figure around one billion dollars, thereabout.
Monies that have come through the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project, in the neighbourhood of about US$239 million, monies that have come from the U.S EXIM Bank, about US$350 million , monies that have come through the Chinese Government, over US$700 million and monies that have come from the Norwegian Government, from the Eurobond issue, about US$175 million .
The point here, Madam Speaker, is that we have put significant levels of resources into the utility companies and we are not getting commensurate quality services from them. Therefore, if you are
going to increase tariffs, let us look at the obligations and all of the players in the arena and ensure that if we agree that we are going to increase tariffs, everybody plays the part properly and effectively for us to get the dividends that we all desire in the country.
Madam Speaker, let me give you one example at the consumer side. We all agreed in this country that we are misusing power, we were using the onion bulb as they call it, and we decided to convert to the compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs); we were able to implement this successfully and we saved this country about US$32 million.
Indeed, in New York, this country benefited from a cash donation of one million dollars out of the carbon credit facility. These are all measures that - let me credit the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Administration - have been implemented very successfully towards improving services in the utility areas, particularly energy.
Madam Speaker, the increases in the utility tariffs today are too steep, too drastic and they come in the wake of other increases. Increase in taxes, increases in fuel prices, some areas are growing up at the commensurate levels.
Madam Speaker, all these things are not helping Ghana at all. We are rather punishing the average Ghanaian, in the sense that we are imposing taxes, we are increasing fuel prices, we are increasing all kinds of duties and at the same time too, we are coming to increase the costs of electricity and water.
This is not creating a better Ghana for us, this is creating a bitter Ghana, and that is what my Colleague said when they moved the Motion yesterday. These are matters that we have to address seriously and let the Ghanaian know what is going